Meet Our Team l UC Davis Health
Dana Farias, M.S., C.C.C-S.L.P.
Chief, Speech Language Pathology
Dana Farias graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. He returned to graduate school at North Texas University where he received a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Dana has worked at UC Davis Health since 2001 and supervises acute, rehab and outpatient speech therapy services. He is a part-time faculty/lecturer at California State University, Sacramento. His primary areas of research include aphasia and apraxia of speech and he has presented his research internationally. View full biography.
Kristin Hackman, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Kristin graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from California State University, Chico. She has worked in a variety of settings such as elementary schools, skilled nursing facilities and providing supervision in the college clinic setting before making her home at UC Davis Health. Kristin has worked at UC Davis Health for 15 years in which she has provided evaluation and treatment in both acute care and inpatient rehabilitation settings. Her clinical interests include working with patients who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury along with other neurological etiologies. Kristin facilitates the traumatic brain injury support group “Grey and White Matters”.
Matt Osecheck, M.A., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Matt received his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Arts in Speech Language Pathology from the University of the Pacific in 1998 and has worked in a medical setting since that time. Matt’s work experience includes outpatient, acute rehabilitation, subacute, and inpatient acute care, and he has received additional training and certification in video fluoroscopic swallow studies (VFSS) and flexible endoscopic evaluations of the swallow (FEES) with an emphasis on swallowing with tracheostomies. Matt has also educated medical students, registered dieticians, and nurses on dysphagia, participated in a variety of research, and contributed to the publication “Nutrition Assessment and Management in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” (2012). Currently, Matt works in the hospital setting evaluating and treating acutely ill patients.
Denise Kendrix, M.A., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Denise graduated from the University of Redlands with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Disorders and earned her Master of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology from San Jose State University. Denise has enjoyed working in the medical setting for over 20 years with adults with cognitive, communication and swallowing disorders. She has a primary focus in traumatic brain injury and stroke and assists with facilitating the UC Davis Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group. She also is a volunteer board member for the Medical Speech Council of California (MSCC).
Amanda Fazakerly, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Amanda earned a M.S. in Speech Pathology from Columbia University and a B.S. in Human Development from UC Davis. Prior to joining the PMR acute rehab team, she specialized in voice, upper airway, and swallowing disorders in the Department of Otolaryngology at UCD Health for three years. Her clinical interests are in the assessment and treatment of neurologic disorders including stroke, neuromuscular diseases, movement disorders, and traumatic brain injury. She is skilled in video fluoroscopic studies (VFSS), flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES), laryngeal stroboscopy, laryngeal surface electromyography (sEMG), expiratory muscle strength training (EMST), and other tools for assessment and treatment of aerodigestive tract disorders.
Sarah Leary, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Sarah Leary graduated with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University, Sacramento. Since beginning her career as a speech-language pathologist, she’s had a passion for helping children with speech and language delays and disorders and providing support and training to families and caregivers. Sarah has experience working with a variety of populations within various settings, such as elementary schools, private clinics, hospitals, and home-based therapy. However, she has found that providing services in the outpatient medical setting, specializing in pediatric therapy, has been the most rewarding. Sarah’s current interests include expanding her knowledge in pediatric feeding, orofacial myofunctional disorders, and tethered oral tissues.
Blair Yager, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Blair received her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the Pacific. She specializes in pediatric acute care and primarily treats cognitive, communication, and swallowing disorders for patients on the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and general pediatric floors. Prior to joining UC Davis Health in 2011, Blair was a Speech-Language Pathologist in early intervention with children between the ages of birth to 3 years old. Blair is a certificated lactation educator counselor and a member of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists. She is trained in the SOS (Sequential-Oral-Sensory) Approach to Feeding, Beckman Oral Motor, and the SOFFI (Supporting Oral Feeding in Fragile Infants) Method. Her clinical interests are infant feeding and swallowing and pediatric traumatic brain injury.
Michelle Ramirez, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Michelle attended California State University Sacramento for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Speech Pathology. Michelle has been a speech-language pathologist for 12 years, 11 at UC Davis Health. She has worked across settings and age groups in private practice, non-public school, subacute, acute and outpatient. She specializes in pediatrics, working primarily with the inpatient rehabilitation team, but ranging from general pediatrics to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit . Populations served include acquired Traumatic Brain Injury, Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA), brain tumors and other brain infections with related communication disorders, cognitive impairments and dysphagia. Her passion is getting babies and children to be able to eat again and communicate with their loved ones. She enjoys working with augmentative alternative communication (AAC), Autism spectrum disorder and working with the behavioral challenges that come with communication disorders and brain injury.
MacKay O'Keefe, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
MacKay O’Keefe has over 15 years of experience working with children and has clinical experience working in schools and skilled nursing facilities, in addition to UC Davis Health outpatient and inpatient settings. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at UC Santa Cruz and received her Master’s of Science in Speech, Language, and Learning from Northwestern University. She has been working at UC Davis Health since 2016. Her clinical interests including pediatric speech and language, pediatric feeding, and aphasia. MacKay is certified in the SOS Approach to Feeding and Beckman Oral Motor Program.
Florence Ferreira, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Florence earned her Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in Speech Pathology from California State University Sacramento. She completed her Clinical Fellowship at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, CA. Florence began working at UC Davis Health in 2017. Currently Florence works with patients across the life span in acute and out-patient settings. In addition to her work at UC Davis Health, Florence is a clinical instructor at California State University, Sacramento supervising graduate clinicians. Florence works as a professional volunteer with Head Trauma Support Project of Sacramento. Her primary areas of interest include swallowing disorders, tracheostomy and speaking valve use.
Rejane A. Wittmann, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Rejane Wittmann earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Speech Language Pathology from California State University, Sacramento. Her current areas of clinical practice involve treating patients with speech/language, cognitive, and swallow impairments. Her clinical interests are in diagnosing and treating patients with swallowing disorders. She primarily works with patients who are acutely ill and in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Rejane also has experience with working with patients who have a tracheostomy tube and are ventilator dependent. She serves as the primary speech pathologist for a multidisciplinary Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) clinic at UC Davis Health. During these clinics, in addition to diagnosing and treating swallowing and cognitive impairments, she also teams up with a Tobii representative to support patients with Augmentative Alternative Communication needs.
Meredith Stawicki, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.